Swapping postcards and quick crafts is plenty of fun, but sometimes swappers crave a more in-depth, time-intensive craft swap experience. After feeling the surge in creativity that you get from small swaps, it is completely understandable that many swappers want to take the step up to larger projects….
BUT, there are a few things to consider before hosting or signing up for a big project swap. Big, lengthy swaps have the potential to be risky.
Some examples of time-intensive swaps: Journal swaps, 100 ATCs or 100 inchies (or any large number), knitting or crochet projects, large art project swaps, like paintings or sculpture, and any type of Round Robin style swap where each participants contributes to a project and then mails it on.
Here are my tips for creating or choosing a time-intensive swap:
- As always, carefully check over the swap coordinator’s profile and rating history before joining a big swap (or any swap). If you are the host, carefully check over your participants’ profiles. Have they done Type 3 swaps before? Have they done time-intensive craft swaps before? Have they been on Swap-bot long enough to indicate that they are committed to the system and to staying active at least long enough to complete your swap?
- Swap which have a very long stretch of time between the sign up deadline and the mail deadline (more than a month) are risky. The more time between when partners are assigned and when the swap must be mailed usually correlates with the number of swappers who go missing, leave Swap-bot, or become suspended due to unsent swaps. I suggest NOT joining swaps with more than a month between the sign up and mail deadlines.
- Time-intensive public swaps are the most risky. Participants don’t necessarily intend to become non-senders, but inexperienced swappers can often get overly excited about the idea of a big swap, but not truly realize the time ad effort it will take to complete it. Private or group swaps are a good way to participate in safer swaps, but they still are not 100% guaranteed to run smoothly.
- If you want to coordinate a big, time-intensive swap, make sure to set very clear and strict requirements and stick to them when weeding out participants. Don’t be afraid to remove swappers who seem questionable.
- Round Robin style swaps have been attempted many times, but they never seem to work out as planned. In order for a Round Robin swap to be successful, every single person must be committed to the swap. If one person drops out, the entire process is stalled. They are an awesome swap idea, but I do NOT suggest hosting Round Robin swaps except within very trusted groups of swap friends.
- Always keep in mind that swapping is inherently risky, even with the feedback and safety measures used on Swap-bot. Things can happen which prevent users from sending. There is always a chance that you may not receive a swap. Do not join swaps that are too expensive or require more of a commitment than what you find fun and enjoyable. Swap items that you love making, just for creativity’s sake.
- Not receiving a swap is a major bummer, especially when it is a big, time-intensive swap. It is extremely important to rate your non-sending partners with a 1 so that future swap hosts will know not to allow them in their swaps.
What do you think? Do you join time-intensive, big project swaps? Leave you tips for successful swapping in the comments…